Did Lifetime Make the Right Choice with the Casting Time Jump for Petals on the Wind?

It was less than 24 hours after their made-for-TV adaption of Flowers in the Attic, that Lifetime announced they would begin to film the sequel—Petals on the Wind, also based on a book—as soon as possible. Petals on the Wind, which is set to premier in May of 2014, continues the story of the Dollanganger family after the events of the first novel.

While Lifetime made several creative changes in their film adaptation of the book, one major change in their adaptation of Petals on the Wind has got V.C. Andrews fans and Lifetime fans buzzing: the “time jump.” In the original Petals on the Wind book, the story picks up immediately where the last one left off—just about literally, with Cathy, Chris and their younger sister Carrie traveling on a bus and still suffering from obvious signs of neglect, starvation and poisoning.

They are taken in by a doctor who gains custody over them and helps the three of them return to a somewhat normal life, with Chris entering medical school, Cathy going to professional ballet classes, and Carrie returning to school to further her education. Cathy and the doctor eventually begin a relationship, although—in true V.C. Andrews fashion—they split after it is revealed that not all was as it seemed with the doctor.

In the film adaptation, the story will begin 10 years after the events in the first novel—when Cathy is married to an abusive dancer named Julian, while she struggles to deal with her continued feelings with her brother and her increasing desire to get revenge on her mother for what she has done to Cathy and her siblings.

This change, which required Lifetime to recast the main roles of Chris and Cathy with actors Wyatt Nash and Rose McIver, has got many people talking. Was it the right move? And why was it made? Although some critics have speculated that the “time jump” is to get around a teenage Cathy having an relationship with a much older man, the primary reason is likely to make the story more compelling and easier to tell—because the novel spans so many years, it would be easier for Lifetime to create a film out of the more action-oriented second half of the novel than the first half. To stream any Lifetime movies, subscribe to a high-speed internet plan from Charter now.


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